Thursday, July 21, 2011

4 Years

A few weeks ago, I had to travel to our hometown to do some photo sessions.  Josh wasn't coming until a few days later, so I was making the 3 hour drive by myself.  For the last year, I have mostly driven in with no music.  I used to listen to the radio, but I am  LOVING the silence.  It gives me time to listen and pray and process.  I am coming to cherish those times.

And, during this particular ride, I was processing this last year.

This past year (summer to summer) has been, perhaps, one of the more stressful of our lives. Not bad necessarily, but stressful.  There hasn't been any major crisis or anything, just tons of change and stress- both good and bad.  That is the main reason I haven't posted much on here- we have had little discretionary time, and we want to use it on relationships and such.  Here's a brief summary of the last 12 months:


We have moved- yet again- to a brand new town where we didn't know a soul.

Josh has had 4 jobs and 2 layoffs.  Oh, and the financial strain and job searching and uncertainty that all brings.

We have started a business- and labored and worried and prayed over it.  We LOVE it, but it definitely adds stress to our lives.

We have dealt with a significant, new, long-term health challenge.

We have searched for and found a new church.

I started full-time grad school and practicum.

Some of our loved ones have had VERY tough times, and we have hurt with them and prayed for them through grief, pain, and consequence. 

We have deeply missed many of the relationships we made in Namibia.

God speaks to our hearts and whispers parts of His plan, which left us with uncertainty when they didn't match what we originally thought.

We have no idea where our next move will be when I graduate in May.

And all this is just the stuff that I can repeat on the blog.

In summary, we have been in constant transition.  And honestly, transition just isn't my thing, you know?

At times, it has been overwhelming.


While thinking through this all in the car, I started thinking about transition and change and "home."  I have written about being homesick before, and I have realistic expectations about that "home" feeling.  We have now been in our townhome for 10 months, the longest we have lived in any place since we got married, and I have just started to refer to it as "home" instead of "the townhome."  I realized while driving that I have a new definition for home:

Earthly home = wherever Josh is.

Maybe this goes without saying for some people, but it hasn't always for me.  I love my husband more than any other person.  However, "home" has always been solidly defined as a specific place to me.  Those places will always mean a lot.  But this was a new realization for me, and served as a reminder that our relationship is always growing.

Seriously, he is amazing- I've said so before here and here.  And probably a ton of other places, but I really don't want to take the time to link to all of them. 

Our love continues to amaze me.  My love for him grows and grows, even when I think I can't love him any more than I already do.  He loves with grace and forgiveness- not holding grudges and accepting me for who I am.  And the best part of it all is that I know it is coming straight from the love and grace of Christ, because we are, on our own, selfish and unloving human beings.

But Jesus continues to show me His love through Josh. 

I stand in awe of what God has done and what He has brought us through in the 4 years that we have been married.  Yes, 4 years!  That's hard to wrap my mind around!  On one hand, I feel like we've been together forever- we started dating 8 years ago, we know each other better than anyone else, we often know what the other person is thinking before they say it.  On the other hand, we are constantly learning about each other, and I still often get butterflies in my stomach when I see him (especially if it's been a few days).

To My Dearest Joshua,

Happy Anniversary!  I wouldn't want to live my life married to anyone but you.  If you're up for it, I say we shoot for 75 years.  We'd be 96 and 97, so it's doable : )  Thank you for being the man God made you to be, and for loving me so well.  You are my perfect opposite, and best friend.  I never could have known when I met you that you would turn my life upside down- into one that is crazy and dangerous and barbaric (in all the best ways).  I praise God that He is bigger than my plans, and that His will was for us to be together.  I am grateful for your devotion to serving Jesus, and for the intentional way you strive to lead our family.  You are the water to my fire, perfect counterbalance.  As long as it's God's will that we both be on this earth, I'll cherish every moment with you.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

Your Princess *

*Yes, he actually calls me that!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Words spoken so clearly from the heart! Happy Anniversary to an amazing woman and a very special couple! I LOVE this post! LOVE!

wilke7 said...

Congratulations Nicole and Josh on your anniversary. Here is to 71 more! You are a special couple. God's blessings to you. I know he has wonderful plans for the two of you! Debbie

Anonymous said...

Couldn't love you 2 more!! Happy Anniversary!

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